A leisurely afternoon enjoying Antoine’s $20.19 Lunch is very New Orleans.
Antoine’s $20.19 Lunch
Going for the Antoine’s $20.19 lunch highlighted my week. Good food, good friends make for such a fun afternoon. I didn’t realize that I have friends with connections to the owners of the restaurant, but, hey, getting a nice table in the back dining room? I’ll take it.
The oldest restaurant
Antoine Alciatore cooked for a hotel when he came to New Orleans. He opened the restaurant in 1840. Over time, the family expanded the restaurant from the initial house/building to several houses on Rue St. Louis, between Royal and Bourbon.
I ate at Antoine’s for the first time in 1979. While some places from your teens produce fond memories that don’t withstand the test of time, Antoine’s does. And Antoine’s $20.19 lunch menu continues to make dining there fun.
The summer menu
The “twenty dollar lunch” started a few years back. Y’all correct me if I’m wrong, but the first place I remember doing it was the Rib Room. Not long after, other well-established Quarter restaurants offered a $20 lunch. Antoine’s went with the year for the price, for a unique touch.
The cheap-cocktail special was a tasty fruit punch. We drank a few, to say the least.
A word about the photos: Antoine’s “back dining room”, which has a history in itself, is dark. The walls are dark and the lighting is subdued. I try not to be That Guy with the flash. So, the photos here are shopped, a bit. No apologies. Lunch is about the food, not the blog article.
We were a party of seven. Nobody got the soup. There was a mix of the entree salad, chicken, and the shrimp creole.
Antoine’s is well-known for its oyster dishes. They invented Oysters Rockefeller. Your first visit must include Oysters 2-2-2 (2 Rockefeller, 2 Bienville, 2 Foch) at a minimum. The restaurant offers “char-grilled” oysters for the lunch special. Their take on the dish is solid. These particular oysters were plump and tasty.
The Watermelon salad was also good, as I swiped some from the friends on either side of me.
I got the “Picnic Fried Chicken,” and it was an excellent choice. The Shrimp Creole looked delicious, but I just met the gal who ordered it, so I didn’t poach. Friends I can steal food from got the steak salad. It was a lighter alternative to the chicken, but I’ve got no regrets. This is the kind of fried chicken you find at so many places in town. Greens and mac-n-cheese to go with it. OK, it’s not Pompano en Papillote, but still.
I like Antoine’s bread pudding. When we’re there with family, someone invariably gets it. So, I ordered the Key Lime Tart. It was just fantastic.
713 Saint Louis Street
Monday – Saturday
11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.